Srini says Lorgat not reason behind not finalising SA`s tour

Last Updated: Thursday, October 10, 2013 - 19:54

New Delhi: BCCI top brass` animosity with Cricket South Africa CEO Haroon Lorgat is well known in the game`s circle, but Board President N Srinivasan today said that was not the reason behind not finalising the Indian team`s proposed tour to South Africa later this year.

Srinivasan, who resumed charge as BCCI chief after a Supreme Court ruling on Tuesday, said that the India Board has nothing to do with who becomes the CSA Chief Executive.

Asked if it`s true that the proposed home series against South Africa will not happen unless Lorgat is removed as CSA CEO, Srinivasan said, "Not at all. CSA can appoint anybody. Who are we to say anything about it? There was an internal discussion in BCCI. We felt that we needed more in-bound tours during our main season.

"Every other country, during their main season, has got sufficient international teams touring them. We found that this year, most of the time we are out. So Indian cricket fans needs to see Indian players play in front of them, which is why we invited the West Indies.

"And as far as South Africa is concerned, the president of Cricket South Africa is coming to meet us in the next couple of days. There are some challenges in the scheduling. We are not saying that you (CSA) have to do this, that or the other. We have our own challenges. They are coming to meet us. We will discuss with them," he told `CNN-IBN`.

Srinivasan said he or the BCCI was not bullying anybody or any Board but simply safeguarding India`s interest.

"All I try to do is get a fair deal for India, for BCCI; that is all that I try to do. There is no question of bullying anybody. All our cricket nations have their own boards, they are sovereign. But, possibly more than before, I`m looking at the interest of the BCCI and trying to see how BCCI`s interests are protected. To that extent, yes."

Asked if India would be going against the FTP if the
South African tour does not happen, Srinivasan said, "We are not doing anything that is incorrect. We are not going back on anything. This FTP is something that has an element of confidentiality, but we are not going back on anything, I can assure you.

"We will discuss with South Africa when they come here.

We have some challenges. We will discuss it with them, and after that we will explain. There is no problem. There is nothing to hide in this."

On India's opposition to the application of DRS in bilateral series. He said the BCCI's stand has been vindicated after what had happened during the Ashes series in England.

"If you had seen the recent Ashes tour in England, I think BCCI's stand on DRS was vindicated. At the moment there is no rethink (on India's stand) because I don't think the technology is quite there. We have made our position clear. There are very fundamental issues as far as DRS is concerned. There is, at the moment, no rethink on it," said the BCCI President.

Srinivasan refused to answer former Board president Shashank Manohar's comments that he (Srinivasan) has no right to continue as president after the IPL spot-fixing and betting scandal broke out.

"I do not wish to comment on what Shashank Manohar has said. All I look at is, with knowledge of everything that has been said, all the cases which are there, the members of the BCCI unanimously elected me (as president in the AGM). So I think that is what is important.

I cannot keep responding to what people say. I've been elected as a president. I will do my job," said the Tamil Nadu strongman.

On the resignation of Sanjay Jagdale and Ajay Shirke as BCCI Secretary and Treasurer after the spot-fixing scandal broke out, he said, "Somebody resigns, somebody else takes that position. I don't think I need to respond to all this."

He also sidestepped Channai Super Kings player Michael Hussey's claim in his book that his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan -- chargesheeted in the IPL scandal -- was running the CSK team.

"I saw that on the news. I again say this is not an area on which I want to comment. I do not want to go into this. What exactly Michael Hussey wrote I have not seen it, and on top of it, this is again like traversing an area that is sub-judiced for me," said Srinivasan, who had described Meiyappan as a "cricket enthusiast".

Srinivasan also gave a standard 'will look into' answer when asked about India and CSK captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni's alleged conflict of interest. Dhoni reportedly owns a sprots firm which, in turn, is said to be the agent for some national team players.

Asked if he will conduct an inquiry on this issue concerning Dhoni, who is also vice-president of India Cements -- the owners of CSK -- as has been reportedly promised by Jagmohan Dalmiya who was BCCI interim chief for some time, Srinivasan said, "I'll discuss this with Dalmiya because I was out of BCCI when this took place.

"I will discuss with Dalmiya what he meant because I was out of cricket. I didn't even follow what was happening."
He stonewalled every question which has something to do with his son-im-law Meiyappan on the pretext that the matter is sub-judiced after the Supreme Court appointed a three-member committee to probe the IPL spot-fixing scandal.

He, however, said that he and the BCCI will not interfere in the probe and will cooperate with the inquiry committee as has been directed by the apex court.

"Supreme Court has said I can assume charge (as BCCI chief). I have assumed charge and I look forward.I'm definitely very pleased at this and I look forward to contributing further to Indian cricket.

"I'm not accused of anything. So my conscience is clear and I will just go about doing my work. I cannot talk about anything that in a sense is subjudiced or anything even remotely connected to that.

"I'm not the person accused. Inquiry will be conducted. The Supreme Court has made it very clear that neither the BCCI nor I should interfere with it and that we should only extend full cooperation. That is what I will do."

PTI

First Published: Thursday, October 10, 2013 - 20:34

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